Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, Jacob Abbott (1895-1950) became known for cartoons, illustrations, and watercolor paintings. Art found Jacob Bates Abbott early in his life, when he won a drawing contest, and later in high school, as the yearbook art editor. While at Harvard he drew cartoons for the Harvard “Lampoon.” After graduating from Harvard, Abbott served in World War II. Once home, he spent several years working in New York in the bond business. It was not until he moved to California that he found his calling as a wildlife illustrator.
After becoming known for his illustrations in California during the late 1920s and early ’30s, Abbott moved back east and became the art director at Yankee Magazine in Dublin, New Hampshire.
Abbott passed his talent and love of wildlife artistry to his son, Jackson Miles Abbott, who became famous in his own right, known as the artist who won both first and second in Federal Duck Stamp contest in the same year.
Jacob Bates Abbott was a prolific illustrator. His art appeared in children’s books The Story Road, a reading book for second graders, and Animal Babies. His illustrations were so precise that Abbott illustrated multiple field guides for bird identification.